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Full text of "Mountain ants of Nevada."

MOUNTAIN ANTS OF NEVADA 



George C. Wheeler' and Jeanette Wheeler 1 

ABSTRACT. Introductory topics include "The High Altitude Environment," "Ants Recorded from High Alti- 
tudes," "Adaptations of Ants," "Mountain Ants of North America," and "The Mountains of Nevada." A Nevada 
mountain ant species is defined as one that inhabits the Coniferous Forest Biome or Alpine Biome or the ecotone 
between them. A table gives a taxonomic list of the mountain ants and shows the biomes in which they occur; it 
also indicates whether they occur in lower biomes. This list comprises 50 species, which is 28 percent of the ant 
fauna we have found in Nevada. Only 30 species (17 percent of the fauna) are exclusively montane; these are in 
the genera Myrmica, Monica, Stenamma, Leptothorax, Camponotus, Lasius, and Formica. The article concludes 
with "Records for Nevada Mountain Ants." All known records for each species are cited. For each record we 
give first the county, next the mountain range, then the peak (or other local feature), and finally the elevation. 



EPIGRAPHS 

"The first compilation of world ants 
found at elevations of 2000 m (6560 ft) or 
more shows that, while many species may 
be found at the 2000 m level, the numbers 
decrease rapidly with increase in altitude. 
Few ants are found at 3000 m (9840 ft), 
and at 4000 m (13,129 ft) or more only nine 
species are known. The world altitudinal re- 
cord is of Formica picea lochmatteri Starcke 
at 4800 m. (15,740 ft) in the Himalayas" 
(Weber 1943: 351). 

"While other branches of entomology 
have made great advances in recent years, 
our knowledge of the insect life of the 
North American mountains is, however, ex- 
tremely fragmentary" (Mani 1968: 365). 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

As soon as we moved to Nevada in 1967 
we began a study of the ants of the state. 
Most areas were readily accessible, thanks 
to an excellent highway system and a Jeep 
Wagoneer. But we soon found that we were 
too old for hiking and backpacking in the 
rarified air of the mountaintops. 

To remedy this handicap, we applied for 
and were awarded two National Science 
Foundation grants to employ students to 
collect for us. The first was for the Alpine 



Biome (BMS74-13679). For this study we 
hired Alvin McLane (one of Nevada's most 
experienced mountaineers) and Jane Ram- 
burg (a senior botany major at Wellesley 
College) for two months during the summer 
of 1975. The second grant (DEB76-11131) 
was for the upper levels of the Coniferous 
Forest Biome. For this study we hired two 
University of Nevada, Reno, students, Gary 
Nigro (a graduate entomology student) and 
Wendy Guyer (a senior botany major) for 
two months during the summer of 1977. 

The above should not be taken to mean 
that we have had no personal experience 
with high-altitude ants. We have taken ad- 
vantage of the excellent gravel road up to 
12,000 ft on Mt. Grant (elevation 12,200 ft) 
near Hawthorne and a passable road up to 
10,000 ft on Mount Jefferson (elevation 
11,949 ft). There are also many roads up to 
9000 ft, but these one-lane roads without 
turnouts generally lead to mines. 

We thank Alvin McLane for reading the 
manuscript. 

DEFINITION 

In his book, Mani (1968:8) preferred the 
term "hypsobiont" or "high altitude" to "al- 
pine" and gives this definition: "The high 
altitude insects may thus be described as an 
ecologically highly specialized, mountain 



'Adjunct Research Associates, Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada 
89506. 



GREAT BASIN NATURALIST 



Vol. 38, No. 4 



autochthonous group existing exclusively in 
the biome above the forest, at elevations 
above 2000-2500 m." None of our Nevada 
ants can qualify because of the adverb ex- 
clusively, so we will use the more modest 
term alpine. 

The student of mountaintop faunas must 
be duly warned (as does Mani, p. 4) that 
not all insects occurring at high altitudes 
are hypsobionts: "Incredibly large numbers 
of insects [even heavy flying insects] are 
lifted from the lowland by warm updraft air 
currents to high altitudes, to be chilled 
dead, blown passively and eventually cast 
on high mountain slopes." The converse, 
however, is not true: hypsobionts are rarely 
encountered on the lowlands. 

In this study we define a Nevada moun- 
tain ant species as one that inhabits the 
Coniferous Forest Biome or the Alpine 
Biome or the ecotone between them. We 
cannot use an elevational boundary because 
the lower limit of the forest is too uneven. 

HIGH-ALTITUDE ENVIRONMENT 

The high-altitude environment, like all 
others, is a complex of many interrelated 
factors, but it differs from all others in one 
respect: reduced atmospheric pressure, 
which is itself the result of high altitude. 
This seems to say that the high-altitude en- 
vironment is characterized by high altitude, 
but we shall avoid being so foolish by de- 
scribing some of the effects of reduced at- 
mospheric pressure. 

1. Deficient oxygen, the most important 
characteristic. In the Himalaya at the tim- 
berline the oxygen is 68 percent of what it 
is at sea level; at 6000 m it is only 45 per- 
cent. Mountain sheep, ibexes and yaks live 
up to 5800 m; man without an artificial ox- 
ygen supply lives up to 8540 m. Certain in- 
sects, mites, and spiders flourish at 6800 m, 
because they are only slightly affected by 
decreased oxygen or by sudden changes in 
atmospheric pressure (Mani 1968:10). 

2. Atmospheric cold. While it is true that 
cold does slow down the activities of in- 
sects, high-altitude insects can exist only be- 
cause of the atmospheric cold: it enables 
them to withstand the atmospheric aridity 
(Mani 1968:22-23). 



3. Atmospheric aridity. 

4. Intense solar radiation. "Regardless of 
atmospheric temperature, objects exposed to 
direct sunshine warm up far more rapidly 
than at sea level" (Mani 1968:21). This is 
enormously important for insects because of 
the short days and the short summers. 

5. Snow cover. This is absolutely essential 
for high-altitude insects. It prevents freezing 
and desiccation and, because the habitat un- 
der the snow is not frozen, makes possible 
an earlier start of summer activities. 

6. Biotic factors. (After Mani 1968:44) 
Most biotic factors are ultimately based on 
the following: 

(a) Trees are absent. 

(b) The scant cespitose vegetation has a 
short growing period. 

(c) The active feeding period is severely 
restricted by the short summer. In the 
northwestern Himalaya on south 
slopes the average annual feeding pe- 
riod may last 10 weeks at 3000-4000 
m. On north slopes it starts later and 
is shorter. 

(d) Sources of food are extremely irregu- 
lar, relatively scant, and often local- 
ized. 

(1) Autochthonous sources are plants 
and animals normally living at 
high altitudes. 

(2) Wind-blown organisms from the 
lowlands are the predominant 
source and are most abundant at 
the melting edges of snow where 
dead plants and animals (mostly 
insects) become exposed. The sur- 
face of the snow is likewise im- 
portant; it is almost the exclusive 
source in the Himalaya above 
5000 m. 

(e) Suitable microhabitats are scarce. Ac- 
tually there are only two of any sig- 
nificance: (1) cracks in the soil and 
rocks and (2), of far greater impor- 
tance, under stones. 

(f) Crowding and isolation, caused by 
this scarcity, may result in "a state of 
. . . armed neutrality rather than 
peaceful coexistence!" (p. 81) 

(g) The majority of high-altitude insects 
are predators, parasitoids, or parasites. 
"It would seem that almost every 



December 1978 



WHEELER, WHEELER: NEVADA ANTS 



member of a high-altitude community 
spends practically all its time devour- 
ing and predating [sic] on every other 
member species" (pp. 80-81). 

(h) The base of the ecological pyramid is 
Collembola. 

(i) The fauna is impoverished in number 
of species (perhaps to only three of 
four in a community), but the number 
of individuals per species may be very 
large. 

ANTS RECORDED FROM HIGH ALTITUDES 

Weber (1943:341-346) has assembled a 
-list of records with locations and elevations 
in meters and in feet. The following totals 
include only workers recorded above 2000 
m ( = 6560 ft), except in North America 
where for some unexplained reason he in- 
cludes only those at or above 10,000 ft: the 
Himalaya 37 species, other Asiatic records 
15, Alps 1, North America 16, South Ameri- 
ca 12, Africa 62. 

Gregg (1963) recorded for Colorado 33 
species at or above 10,000 ft. In Nevada 
there are 19 species at or above 10,000 ft. 

Formica picea lochmatteri, which is found 
at an elevation of 15,749 ft in the Himalaya 
(Weber 1943:351), is the world's highest 
known ant. The Nearctic champion is ap- 
parently Formica neorufibarbis, which has 
been taken at 14,260 ft on the summit of 
Mt. Evans in Colorado (Gregg 1963:533). 
The Nevada champion is likewise Formica 
neorufibarbis, taken on Boundary Peak in 
Esmeralda County at 12,160 ft. (The sum- 
mit of Boundary Peak is the highest eleva- 
tion in Nevada: 13,145 ft.) 

Deserving special mention here is Tapi- 
noma sessile. Creighton (1950:353) gave its 
range as "southern Canada and the entire 
United States with the exception of desert 
areas in the southwest. The incidence of 
sessile appears to decrease sharply in the 
Gulf Coast region but it has been taken in 
Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas." 
We collected it three times in Deep Can- 
yon near Palm Desert, California (Wheeler 
and Wheeler 1973:106), which is in the 
Colorado desert. "The ants have been found 
to nest all the way from sea level to heights 
of over 10,000 feet" (Smith 1928:319). 



Gregg (1963:446) reported it up to 10,505 
ft in Colorado. So the Nevada record of 
11,320 ft on Boundary Peak must be the 
highest not only in Nevada but also any- 
where the species is found. 

ADAPTATIONS 

Because the Arctic-alpine is the harshest 
terrestrial environment on earth, one may 
ask what special adaptations permit certain 
species to live and even thrive in it: 

1. Pigmentation. The insects of high alti- 
tudes have a large amount of melanin in 
their integument. The black color enables 
them to warm up faster and earlier in the 
morning as well as earlier in the season. 
This ensures them a longer working period 
during the all-too-short summer. 

2. Atrophy of wings. This enables them 
to stay in their suitable environment in 
spite of violent winds. (This does not apply 
to ants.) 

3. Prolonged hibernation. Such species hi- 
bernate most of the year and sometimes for 
two years. 

4. Subsurface life. Few species live on 
the surface. (This does not apply to ants, 
whose workers may be very active on the 
surface when conditions are favorable.) 

5. Increased clothing. Hairs, scales, and 
wax are more abundant. 

6. Cold stenothermy. High altitude in- 
sects are usually active at temperatures near 
freezing; this prevents dessication. Many de- 
velop normally at -1.5 to 5 C (31-41 F) 
during summer. Some will be killed in a 
few minutes by exposure to the warmth of 
a human hand. 



ADAPTATIONS OF ANTS 

Ants by their very nature are preadapted 
to life in a wide variety of environments, 
including some of the harshest on earth. We 
have discussed elsewhere (Wheeler and 
Wheeler 1973:7) their preadaptations to an- 
other harsh environment, the desert: 

1. Social life: The cooperation of many 
individuals is advantageous anywhere in for- 
aging, nest construction, defense, and care 
of the young. 



GREAT BASIN NATURALIST 



Vol. 38, No. 4 



2. Nest structure: Since ants' nests are ex- 
cavated in the soil, they require no biologi- 
cally expensive building materials; they are 
completely flexible as to plan; they are ex- 
tremely efficient in that they afford a wide 
range of temperature and moisture condi- 
tions, from which the ants can select an op- 
timum. 

3. Nocturnal activity: Many species are 
active both day and night and, of course, all 
ants are able to function in the total dark- 
ness of their nests. 

4. Speed: Many species can run rapidly. 
This would be especially useful in high alti- 
tudes, for there is a lot of work to be done 
in the short summer. 

5. Omnivorous diet: The majority of ants 
are omnivorous; their food consists of in- 
sects, honeydew, seeds, and plant exudates. 

6. Integument: One of the general adap- 
tations of insects to life in any terrestrial 
environment is an integument that is rela- 
tively resistant to water loss. It also aids in 
the regulation of body temperature, a very 
important role in small, cold-blooded ani- 
mals. 

Are there, then, any special adaptations 
of ants for high altitudes? Did evolution 
need to do any special remodeling before 
ants could thrive at high altitudes? The an- 
swer is no. But color is a preadaptation that 
becomes especially important at high alti- 
tudes. Black and red are common ant colors 
in all biomes, but there are many ant col- 
ors. Among our Alpine Biome ants, how- 
ever, all species are black or dark brown or 
a combination of red and black or red and 
dark brown colors which absorb heat most 
rapidly, black being most efficient. Further- 
more the bicolored species of Formica are 
polymorphic: the large major workers have 
the head and thorax (or only the thorax) 
red, but the gaster is black or dark brown. 
The smaller workers, however, become pro- 
gressively more infuscated until the minims 
are practically black. These small minims 
warm up and become active earlier in the 
morning; the larger and redder majors begin 
work later. If the midday sun becomes too 
hot for the minims, the majors and medias 
can keep on working. 



MOUNTAIN ANTS OF NORTH AMERICA 

Ant faunas are impoverished at high alti- 
tudes. Van Pelt (1963:205) found this to be 
true of the much lower mountains in the 
Blue Ridge Province of the southeastern 
United States, where the highest elevation is 
6684 ft: "The number of ant forms, and in 
most cases the numbers of colonies, de- 
creased with increasing altitude." 

W. M. Wheeler (1917:460) made much of 
slope: "In mountain regions slope exposure 
in its relation to insolation is a very impor- 
tant factor in the local distribution of 
ants. . . . Northern slopes in the northern 
hemisphere are usually, for very obvious 
reasons, almost or quite destitude of 
ants. . . . [Forel] finds that ants prefer the 
eastern and southern slopes as these are the 
situations in which they have the longest 
day for their activities during the breeding 
season, since they are early awakened by 
sufficiently high temperatures of the soil 
and air from the lethargy induced by the 
chill night hours, and even though the slope 
may be in the shade during the afternoon 
the warmth is sufficient to sustain their ac- 
tivities till sunset. On western slopes, how- 
ever, the morning hours are too cool and 
are therefore practically lost to the ants, 
whereas the afternoon hours are too warm." 

Wheeler also stressed the importance of 
steepness (p. 462). In front of a steep slope 
facing the sun the heated air rises more 
rapidly to greater heights before it is cooled 
to the general temperature of the stratum it 
penetrates. 

Ants "always greatly prefer the more 
gradual slopes and alpine meadows, prob- 
ably because the soil of such places retains 
a more abundant and more equable supply 
of moisture and because their surfaces are 
much less exposed to rapid evaporation 
both from direct insolation and from air- 
currents" (W. M. Wheeler 1917:462). 

If treeless alpine environment is a harsh 
one, then a forest ought to be a great im- 
provement. But this is not necessarily so. A 
dense forest with a solid canopy is a hostile 
environment. "Ecologically significant are 
those areas in which no ants are found. All 
of them are above 6000 feet, and almost all 
occur within forests of spruce-fir or fir" 
(Van Pelt 1963:221). 



December 1978 



WHEELER, WHEELER: NEVADA ANTS 



If dessication is such a hazard to ants, 
then a moist environment should be favor- 
able. Again this is not necessarily true. Said 
W. M. Wheeler (1917:460): "Even moder- 
ately low temperatures, when coupled with 
considerable humidity, a condition which 
prevails in California during the winter 
months, is very unfavorable to ants, and 
when such conditions are most accentuated, 
the ant-fauna is reduced to a mere remnant, 
although the vegetation, if the temperature 
is not too low, may be luxuriant. This is the 
case in New Zealand where I sometimes 
searched in vain for an ant-colony in forests 
whose luxuriance rivalled those of the trop- 
ics. But we have a striking example of the 
depressing effects of cold and moisture on 
ant-life much nearer home. The cool Selkirk 
Mts. of British Columbia have an abundant 
supply of moisture and an unusually rich 
flora, but their ant-fauna is reduced to a 
few boreal species. The adjacent Canadian 
Bockies, however, though in the same lati- 
tude, are less humid and have a poorer 
flora, but their ant-fauna is decidedly richer 
in species and colonies." 

The most favorable environment for 
mountain ants is an opening in the forest. 
Here the ants can find insolation or shade, 
whichever and whenever needed; the cor- 
rect humidity may be selected; the workers 
can forage in the opening and/or the forest. 
They may nest under stones, but additional 
nesting sites are afforded by fallen dead 
trees (or branches): under bark, in solid 
dead wood, in rotten wood, or in the soil 
under the fallen trunk or branch. In the Al- 
pine Biome they of necessity usually nest 
under stones, but occasionally thatching ants 
construct nests with plant debris. 

MOUNTAINS OF NEVADA 

When we were studying geography in the 
grades, we visualized the Great Basin as a 
sort of huge washpan, the bottom a flat 
plain bordered by mountains. Later in phys- 
iography we learned that the Great Basin 
was a part of the Basin and Range Pro- 
vince, which had mountain ranges rising up 
from the floor. Still later, when we drove 
across Nevada and saw a few low ranges, 
we were not properly impressed. It was 



only after we had begun our study of the 
ants of the state that we were forced to the 
realization that Nevada is a mountainous 
state. We proved it to our satisfaction by 
exploring all parts of the state. We were es- 
pecially impressed when we stood on the 
summit of Grant Peak (12,200 ft) and view- 
ed in all directions numerous mountain 
ranges separated by basins. Perhaps the best 
confirmation is to view the United States 
Geological Survey's large (1:500,000) relief 
map of the state (see fig. 1). 

Nevada's topographical uniqueness lies in 
the fact that most of its surface consists of 
numerous (more than 300) short, isolated 
mountain ranges separated by basins usual- 
ly called valleys both by local inhabitants 
and on maps. The floors of some of these 
basins are 7000 ft above sea level. It seem- 
ed strange to us at first to call anything a 
"valley" if its "floor" is higher than any 
peak east of the Bocky Mountains (includ- 
ing the Black Hills as part of the Bockies). 

Nevada's ranges are subparallel, and their 
axes generally approach a north-south direc- 
tion. They are short-50-75 miles ( = 80-120 
km) long and nearly straight. Not all of 
them are high, but 43 ranges have peaks 
between 7000 and 9000 ft; another 54 are 
above 9000 ft and attain a maximum of 
13,140 ft on Boundary Peak. 

The higher ranges show biotic zonation, 
because, with increasing altitude, temper- 
ature decreases and precipitation increases 
from 3 to 30 inches annually. The Alpine 
Biome (Fig. 2) may be found on the sum- 
mits of a few of the higher ranges above 
10,000 ft. Below the Alpine is the Con- 
iferous Forest Biome (Fig. 3) extending from 
about 5000 to 11,500 ft. We are inclined to 
suspect that the mixed bristlecone pine 
(Pinus longaeva) and limber pine (P. flexilis) 
constitute an ecotone (Fig. 4) between the 
Alpine and Coniferous Forest Biomes. This 
is especially true of the older forests, which 
are widely open. 

The Alpine Biome is treeless and the 
plants consist typically of grasses, sedges 
and forbs. Some of the summits are devoid 
of plants, having just bare rocks. They are 
without ants. 

Billings (1954) recognized three sub- 
divisions of the coniferous forests of Ne- 



GREAT BASIN NATURALIST 



Vol. 38, No. 4 




Fig. 1. Nevada is a mountainous state. Courtesy of Nevada Bureau of Mines. 



December 1978 



WHEELER, WHEELER: 



vada; (1) Sierran, (2) Rocky Mountain, and 
(3) Great Basin. 

(1) The Sierran is found only in the Car- 
son Range a few miles south of Reno. The 
pine-fir zone occurs between 5000 and 7500 
ft and comprises large trees from 75 to 200 
ft high; it is an open forest dominated by 
yellow pine (Pinus ponderosa), Jeffrey pine 
(P. jeffreyi), and white fir (Abies concolor). 
There is an extensive understory of shrubs, 
etc. 

The next zone (7500-9300 ft) is domi- 
nated by red fir (Abies magnified) and may 
include lodgepole pine (P. murrayana], 
western white pine (P. monticola), Jeffrey 
pine (P. jeffreyi), and mountain hemlock 
(Tsuga mertensiana). Aspen (Populus tremu- 
loides) often forms groves in moister places. 
From about 9300 ft to the timberlirie (about 
10,300 ft) is a semi-open patchy subalpine 
forest. The principal tree is whitebark pine 
(P. albicaulis), which diminishes in height 
from about 40 ft at 9300 ft to 2 or 3 ft at 
timberline, where it forms the characteristic 
krummholz. Other trees are limber pine, 



lodgepole pine, and mountain hemlock. 

(2) The Rocky Mountain subdivision com- 
prises the eastern ranges from the Jarbidge 
Mountains in Elko County to the Spring 
Mountains in Clark County. The complete 
Rocky Mountain zonal series is (in ascend- 
ing order): ponderosa pine; Douglas fir 
(Pseudotsuga menziesii), and white fir; sub- 
alpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa), Engelmann 
spruce (Picea engelmannii), and often limber 
pine or bristlecone pine. In most cases one 
or more zones are missing or zones may be 

. telescoped, producing mixtures. 

(3) In Billing's third division the ranges 
have the simplified forest zones of the 
Great Basin proper. The Pinyon-Juniper 
Biome reaches up to 7500-8500 ft. Above 
this is an almost treeless zone of sagebrush, 
mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolia), 
and other shrubs reaching 9500-10,000 ft. 
Above the treeless zone is an open sub- 
alpine forest of limber pine and bristlecone 
pines, which we regard as ecotone. 

In all zones of all three subdivisions 
mountain streams are bordered by aspen, 




.5 



Fig. 2. Alpine Biome. Foreground with typical mat vegetation. Esmeralda County: Summit of Boundary Peak 
in background. Photograph by Gary Nigro. 



GREAT BASIN NATURALIST 



Vol. 38, No. 4 



# 






fr*** 

+49' 



'-.M 





V" ^ 



. 

.- > V 




4k 



Fig. 3. Coniferous Forest Biome. Elko County: Snowslide Gulch, Jarbidge Mountains. Photograph by Gary 

Nigro. 



December 1978 



WHEELER, WHEELER: 



chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), water 
birch (Betula occidentalis), willows, and cot- 
tonwoods. 

MOUNTAIN ANTS OF NEVADA 

Because our tentative list of Nevada ants 
totals 180 species, the list (Table 1) of 50 
montane species includes 28 percent of the 
fauna. But only 30 species are exclusively 
montane 17 percent of the total, 60 per- 
cent of the montane. All 50 montane spe- 
cies occur in the Coniferous Forest Biome. 
Nineteen of the montane species have been 
taken in the Ecotone. Five species which 
have been reported in the Coniferous Forest 
and in the Alpine have not been taken in 
the Ecotone, but it is reasonable to assume 
that they occur here; these would make a 
hypothetical Ecotone count of 24 species. 
No species is exclusively Ecotone. Fourteen 
species have been reported from the Alpine, 
none of which is exclusive to that biome. 

We do not find the ant fauna to be in ac- 
cord with Billings's subdivisions of the con- 



iferous forests of Nevada. Only the Sierran 
is at all distinctive; six species occur in the 
Sierra Nevada which occur nd^where else in 
the state, and conversely there are seven 
species that do not occur in the Sierra, but 
are found in many other parts of the state. 
Most of our montane species are too widely 
distributed to show any pattern. 

Montane species limited in Nevada to the 
Carson Range of the Sierra Nevada include 
Monica bradleyi, Stenamma wheelerorum, 
Camptonotus essigi, Formica integroides, F. 
microphthalma, and F. sibylla. 

Montane species which have not been re- 
corded in Nevada from the Carson Range 
include Myrmica emeryana, M. lobifrons, 
Manica hunteri, Leptothorax crassipilis, 
Lasius vestitus, Formica hewitti, and F. sub- 
nuda. 

Table 1 shows that our montane ants are 
a relatively unspecialized lot. Myrmica 
comes first on everybody's list of Myrmi- 
cinae and Manica is second. Stenamma and 
Aphaenogaster are not far above them. But 







* - 



Fig. 4. Ecotone between Alpine and Coniferous Forest biomes. Open stand of bristlecone pines. Clark County: 
Charleston Peak, Spring Mountains. Photograph by Gary Nigro. 



GREAT BASIN NATURALIST 



Vol. 38, No. 4 



what is Leptothorax doing here? It is a mod- 
erately specialized myrmicine. Tapinoma is 
somewhat specialized, but it is one of the 
most versatile ants on earth it deserves its 
own paragraph (see above). Among the For- 
micinae Camponotus, Lasius and Formica 
rate rather low on the scale of special- 
ization in structure, but they rate much 
higher in behavior, Formica being perhaps 
the most plastic of all ant genera. Polyergus 
is, by contrast, highly specialized as an ob- 
ligatory slave-maker. Apparently it can 
adapt to any environment in which it slaves 
(Formica spp.) can function, although we do 
not yet have it from the Alpine Biome. 

The list is interesting not only for what it 
contains, but also for what it does not con- 



tain: the common genera in the lower 
biomes of Nevada: Crematogaster, Mon- 
omorium, Solenopsis, Iridomyrmex, and Con- 
omyrma; all the harvesters (Pogonomyrmex, 
Veromessor, and Pheidole); and the honey 
ants (Myrmecocystus). 



MOUNTAIN ANT NESTS IN NEVADA 

Many of our records are based on stray 
workers only; for these we have no nest 
data. But those with nests are numerous 
enough to give a good picture of the nest- 
ing habits of Nevada mountain ants. In the 
following summary we have lumped togeth- 
er the data for all species. 



TABLE 1. Mountain Ants of Nevada. A = Alpine; E = Ecotone; C = Coniferous Forest Biome; + = lower 
biomes (Pinyon-Juniper and/or Cool Desert). We have only one record of a mountain ant from the Hot Desert; 
even that was riparian. 



Myrmica 
americana 
brevinodis 
emeryana 
fracticomis 
lobifrons 
tahoensis 



Manica 
bradleyi 
hunteri 



Liametopum 
luctuosum 



MYRMICINAE 



Stenamma 

diecki 

healthi 

wheelerorum 
Aphaenogaster 

occidentalis 
Leptothorax 

crassipilis 



muscorum 
nevadensis 
nitens 
rugatulus 



DOLICHODERINAE 



Tapinoma 
sessile 



FOBMINCINAE 



Camponotus 

essigi 

laevigatus 

modoc 

vicinus 
Losing 

alienus 

flavus 

neoniger 

sitkaensis 

vestitus 
Formica 

argentea 

dakotensis 

densiventris 

fusca 

hewitti 



integroides 
lasioides 
microphthalma 
neorufibarbis 
nevadensis 
obscuripes 
obscuriventris 
areas 
planipilis 
propinqua 
puberula 
sibylla 
subnuda 
subpolita 
subsericea 
Polyergus 
breviceps 



December 1978 



WHEELER, WHEELER: 



Coniferous Forest Biome: under a stone 
(mostly) or wood lying on the surface, or 
usually somewhat buried, 228; in rotten 
wood, 64; under earthen mounds construct- 
ed by the ants, 12; in soil with craters, 15; 
thatch mounds, 9; thatch and wood, 4. 

Ecotone: Under a stone (mostly), or wood 
lying on the surface, or usually somewhat 
buried, 42; in rotten wood, 3; in soil with 
crater, 1. 

Alpine: Under a stone lying on the sur- 
face or more commonly somewhat buried, 
41; in soil with crater, 1; thatch mound, 1. 

RECORDS FOR NEVADA MOUNTAIN ANTS 

In the following list the arrangement of 
genera is that of Creighton (1950); for each 
genus, subgenus, or species-group, the spe- 
cies are arranged alphabetically. Under each 
species the county name is given first in 
italics; under each county the names of the 
ranges or mountains are followed by a dash; 
in each range (or mountain-group) are given 
the localities (peak or other topographic 
feature); finally the elevation of the record 
is given in feet above sea level. See Figure 
5 for named localities. 

Abbreviations and symbols: Co. = Coun- 
ty; Hwy = Highway; mi = miles; Mt. = 
Mountain; Mts. = Mountains; nr = near; 
= feet. Compass directions are represented 
by the symbols E, N, S, W, and various 
combinations thereof. They are understood 
to be followed by the word of; e.g., "5 mi 
WSW Reno" would be read aloud as "five 
miles west-southwest of Reno." 

When locality is given by legal descrip- 
tion, the first figure is the section, the sec- 
ond is the township, and the third is the 
range. Because all Nevada ranges are east 
we have not so indicated, but township is 
cited as north or south; if the section is not 
known, we have given only township and 
range. Example: 23-7S-60, if fully expanded 
would read "section 23, Township 7 South, 
Range 60 East." The word range here has 
nothing to do with mountain ranges. (If the 
uninitiated reader is now thoroughly con- 
fused, we refer him to Wheeler and Whee- 
ler 1963:76-77.) 

Dr. Francoeur has made a preliminary ex- 
amination of our material included under 



Myrmica spp. nov. He thinks we have at 
least four new species, which he will de- 
scribe later. We have, therefore, added to 
each record our field number to make it 
possible to associate localities with the new 



SUBFAMILY MYRMICINAE 

Genus MYHMICA Latreille 

Myrmica americana Weber 

Clark Co.: Spring Mts. Charleston Peak 
10,400'. Mineral Co.: Wassuk Ra.- Grant 
Peak 8000'. 



Myrmica brevinodis Emery 

Washoe Co.: Carson Ra.- Little Valley 
6400'; Hwy 27 nr Mt. Rose 8800'. White 
Pine Co.: Schell Creek Ra.- North Schell 
Peak 9700'. 



Myrmica emeryana Forel 

Clark Co.: Spring Mts. Charleston Peak 
10,400'. White Pine Co.: Schell Creek Ra.- 
South Schell Peak 9000'. 



Myrmica fracticornis Emery 

Clark Co.: Spring Mts. Charleston Peak 
8100', 9800'. Elko Co.: Jarbidge Mts.- 4 mi 
S Jarbidge 6600', 6700'. Ruby Mts.- La- 
moille Canyon 8200'. Esmeralda Co.: White 
Mts.- Boundary Peak 9800'. Humboldt Co.: 
Pine Forest Ra. Onion Reservoirs 8000'. 
Nye Co.: Grant Ra.- Troy Peak 10,800'. 
Washoe Co.: Carson Ra.- Little Valley 
6400'; Whites Canyon on Mt. Rose 6800'; 
Tahoe Meadows on Mt. Rose 8400'. White 
Pine Co.: Snake Ra.- Mt. Moriah 10,000'; 
Mt. Washington 10,400'; Wheeler Peak 
8300', 10,000', 10,400'. 



Myrmica lobifrons Pergande 

Elko Co.: Pilot Ra.- Pilot Peak 8800'. 
Nye Co.: Grant Ra.- Troy Peak 8400'. 
White Pine Co.: Schell Creek Ra.- North 
Schell Peak 9800', 10,000'. 



GREAT BA 



Vol. 38, No. 4 



'ONION 
vv RESERVOIRS 



HUMBOLDT 



PERSHING 



(CHURCHILL 







MINERA 



SNOWSLIDE 



'MATTER HORN 



SULCH-ii; 




ELKO 



IsGRAYS PK. 43 

?$ .P1LOT PK. 



Q UJLAM01LLE.|| RUBYDOME 

2 t \ Sp-IBERTY LAKE 

rf D \ ^ 

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= N. SCHELL PK. 
.S. SCHELL PK. 



_ . . 

TOI/ABE SU'MMIT 



i.,.3 RIVER AV* 1 

:.V>" :!>.MT. ( JE'FFERSON 



^SUMMIT 

' 



MORIAH 



!-TROY PK. 



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Fig. 5. Nevada localities where mountain ant collections were made. 



December 1978 



WHEELER, WHEELER: 



Myrmica tahoensis W. M. Wheeler 

Clark Co.: Spring Mts.. Charleston Park 
8100'. Douglas Co.: Carson Ra. Spooner 
Summit 7100'. Elko Co.: East Humboldt 
Ra.- Angel Lake 8 mi SW Wells 7400, 
8400'. Ruby Mts.- Lamoille Canyon 8200'. 
Washoe Co.: Carson Ra. E side Lake 
Tahoe at Ormsby Co. line 6600'; between 
Mt. Rose and Lake Tahoe 8000'; Whites 
Canyon on Mt. Rose 6800'; Little Valley 
6400'. 



Myrmica spp. nov. 

Elko Co.: Buck Creek Mts.- 9 mi WNW 
Jarbidge 6700' (#2352); Jarbidge Mts.- 
Snowslide Gulch 9000' (#5229). East Hum- 
boldt Ra.- Angel Lake 7 mi SW Wells 
7400' (#2506). Esmeralda Co.: White Mts.- 
Boundary Peak 9000' (#5005, 5025). Land- 
er Co.: Toiyabe Ra.- Bunker Hill 9200' 
(#5140). Nye Co.: Toiyabe Ra.- South 
Twin River 8600' (#5161), 8800' (#5162), 
9100' (#5154). Toquima Ra.- Mt. Jefferson 
9400' (#5164). White Pine Co.: Snake Ra.- 
Pyramid Peak 9800' (#5179), 10,600' 
(#5173), 10,800' (#5170); Mt. Washington 
10,400' (#3104). 

Genus MANICA Jurine 
Monica bradleyi (W. M. Wheeler) 

Douglas Co.: Carson Ra. 7 mi WNW 
Minden 7000'; Spooner Summer 7100'. 
Ormsby Co.: Carson Ra. 7 mi WSW Car- 
son City 7000'. Washoe Co.: Carson Ra.- 
Hobart Creek Reservoir 7200'; Hwy 27 nr 
Mt. Rose 8800'; Little Valley 6400'; Whites 
Canyon on Mt. Rose 6800'. 



Stenamma heathi W. M. Wheeler 

Washoe Co.: Carson Ra. Lake Tahoe 
6400'. 



Stenamma smithi Cole 

Ormsby Co.: Carson Ra. 7 mi WSW 
Carson City 7000'. 



Stenamma wheelerorum Snelling 

Washoe Co.: Carson Ra.-Hwy 27 nr Mt. 
Rose 8800' TYPE NEST. 



Genus APHAENOGASTER Mayr 
Aphaenogaster occidentalis Emery 

Douglas Co.: Carson Ra. 7 mi WNW 
Minden 7000'. Elko Co.: East Humboldt 
Ra.- 7 mi SW Wells 8400'. Ruby Mts.- La- 
moille Canyon 7600'. Ormsby Co.: Carson 
Ra.-5 mi WSW Carson City 6800'; 7 mi 
WSW Carson City 7000'. Washoe Co.: Car- 
son Ra. Franktown Road 5200'; Little Val- 
ley 6400', 6600', 7000'; Lower Price Lake 
7000'; 6 mi SW Reno 6400'; Upper Price 
Lake 7200'; 3 mi N Verdi 6100'; 5 mi N 
Verdi 6900'; Peavine Peak 7400'; N end 
Lake Tahoe 6400'. White Pine Co.: Snake 
Ra.- Wheeler Peak 8000'. 



Genus LEPTOTHORAX Mayr 
Leptothorax crassipilis W. M. Wheeler 

Clark Co.: Spring Mts. Charleston Park 
8100'. 



Monica hunteri (W. M. Wheeler) 

Elko Co.: East Humboldt Ra.- Angel 
Lake (8 mi SW Wells) 9000'; Grays Peak 
9600'. Ruby Mts.- Lamoille Canyon 7600', 
7700', 8200'. 

Genus STENAMMA Westwood 
Stenamma diecki Emery 

Washoe Co.: Carson Ra.- Little Valley 
6400'. 



Leptothorax muscorum (Nylander) 

Douglas Co.: Pine Nut Mts.- 17 mi ESE 
Carson City (23-14N-22) 7600'. Elko Co.: 
Ruby Mts.- Lamoille Canyon 8200', 9700'. 
Esmeralda Co.: White Mts. Boundary Peak 
11,000. Nye Co.: Monitor Ra.- Table Mt. 
10,000', 10,500', 10,800'. Washoe Co.: Car- 
son Ra.- Little Valley 6400'; Hwy 27 nr 
Mt. Rose 8800'; California boundary 31- 
17N-18 8600'. White Pine Co.: Snake Ra.- 
Pyramid Peak 9800'; Wheeler Peak 7500'. 



Vol. 38, No. 4 



Leptothorax nevadensis W. M. Wheeler 

Elko Co.: Ruby Mts. Lamoille Canyon 
7000'. Nye Co.: Toquima Ra.- S side Mt. 
Jefferson 10,000'. Ormsby Co.: Carson Ra.- 
3 mi WSW Carson City 6100'. Washoe Co.: 
Carson Ra.- Little Valley 6400', 6500'; 
Hwy 27 nr Mt. Rose 8800'; 6 mi SW Reno 
6400'; 10 mi WNW Reno 6500', 7000'. 



Leptothorax nitens Emery 

Washoe Co.: Carson Ra. Little Valley 
6400'; 4 mi N Verdi 6300'. 



Leptothorax rugatulus Emery 

Douglas Co.: Carson Ra. 7 mi WNW 
Minden 6000', 7000'. Elko Co.: East Hum - 
boldt Ra.- 7 mi SW Wells 7400'. Nye Co.: 
Toquima Ra.- Mt. Jefferson 10,000. Washoe 
Co.: Carson Ra.- Little Valley 6400', 6800'; 
between Little Valley and Lake Tahoe 
7800'; Whites Canyon on Mt. Rose 6800'; 6 
mi SW Reno 6400'; 4 mi N Verdi 6300'. 



SUBFAMILY DOLICHODERINAE 

Genus LIOMETOPUM Mayr 
Liometopum luctuosum W. M. Wheeler 

Clark Co.: Spring Mts. Charleston Park 
8100'. Washoe Co.: Carson Ra.- 16-16N-19 
5200'; Little Valley 6500', 7100'; Whites 
Canyon on Mt. Rose 6800'; 6 mi SW Reno 
6400'. 

Genus TAPINOMA Foerster 
Tapinoma sessile (Say) 

Clark Co.: Spring Mts.- 4 mi NNE Char- 
leston Park 7700'. Sheep Ra.- Hayford 
Peak 9700', 9900'; Sheep Peak 9700'. 
Douglas Co.: Carson Ra. Spooner Summit 
7100'. Elko Co.: Ruby Mts.- Lamoille Can- 
yon 8200'. Jarbidge Mts.- Pine Creek (- 
46N-58) 6500'. Esmeralda Co.: White Mts.- 
Roundary Peak 8800', 9000', 11,320'. Hum- 
boldt Co.: Pine Forest Ra. Onion Reser- 
voirs 8000'. Lander Co.: Toiyabe Ra. 
Bunker Hill 7900'. Nye Co.: Grant Ra.- 
Troy Peak 9400'. Toiyabe Ra. South Twin 
River (-11N-42) 9200'. Ormsby Co.: Carson 
Ra.- 5 mi WSW Carson City 6800'. Wash- 



oe Co.: Carson Ra.- Little Valley 6400'; 
Hobart Creek Reservoir 7200'; Lower Price 
Lake 7000'; 3 mi N Verdi 6100'; 4 mi N 
Verdi 6300'; 7 mi W Reno; 10 mi NW 
Reno 6300'; E side Lake Tahoe at Ormsby 
Co. line 6600'; N end Lake Tahoe at Cali- 
fornia boundary 8600'. White Pine Co.: 
Egan Ra.-nr Murry Summit 8500', 9200', 
9300'. Snake Ra.- Wheeler Peak 8300', 
9100', 10,500'. 

SUBFAMILY FORMICINAE 
Genus CAMPONOTUS Mavr 



Camponotus laevigatus (F. Smith) 

Clark Co.: Spring Mts. Charleston Park 
8100'. Douglas Co.: Carson Ra.- E side 
Lake Tahoe 2 mi S Glenbrook 6400'. Wash- 
oe Co.: Carson Ra. California boundary 
31-17N-18 8600'. 

Camponotus modoc W. M. Wheeler 

Clark Co.: Sheep Ra. peak F/2 mi NE 
Hayford Peak 9800'. Springs Mts.- Charles- 
ton Peak 7700', 8400', 9700'. Douglas Co.: 
Carson Ra. Spooner Summit 7100'; E side 
Lake Tahoe 2 mi S Glenbrook 6400'. Elko 
Co.: East Humboldt Ra.- Grays Peak (-36N- 
61) 9600'; 7 mi SW Wells 7400'. Ruby 
Mts.- Ruby Dome 10,500'; Thomas Canyon 
off Lamoille Canyon 7700'; Liberty Pass (- 
32N-58) 10,000', 10,300'. Jarbidge Mts.- 
Snowslide Gulch (-46N-58) 9000'. Pilot 
Ra.- Pilot Peak 8500', 10,000'. Humboldt 
Co.: Pine Forest Ra. Onion Reservoirs 
8000'. Lander Co.: Toiyabe Ra.- Bunker 
Hill 9300', 9400'. Nye Co.: Grant Ra.- Troy 
Peak 7900', 8900', 9400', 9900', 10,900'. 
Toiyabe Ra.- South Twin River 9100'. 
Washoe Co.: Carson Ra. Little Valley 
6400'; between Little Valley and Lake 
Tahoe (24-16N-18) 7800'; Fuller Lake 3 mi 
S Verdi 6000"; Hwy 27 nr Mr. Rose 8800'; 
Tahoe Meadows on Mt. Rose 8400'; Califor- 
nia boundary 31-17N-18 8600'. White Pine 
Co.: Egan Ra. nr Murry Summit 9000', 
9200'. Schell Creek Ra.- South Schell Peak 
8500', 8600', 8800', 9700'; North Schell 
Peak 9500', 9700', 9800'. Snake Ra.- Mt. 
Moriah 10,400'; Wheeler Peak 9700', 
10,000', 10,700', 12,000'; Pyramid Peak 
10,000', 10,500', 10,600'. 



December 1978 



WHEELER, WHEELER: 



)A ANTS 



Subgenus MYRMENTOMA Forel 
Camponotus essigi M. R. Smith 

Washoe Co.: Carson Ra.- Little Valley 
6600'; Fuller Lake 3 mi S Verdi 6000'; be- 
tween Little Valley and Lake Tahoe 7800'. 

Subgenus TANAEMYRMEX Ashmead 
Camponotus vicinus Mayr 



Clark Co.: Spring Mts. Charleston Park 
8100'; 16 mi NE Pahrump (-18S-55) 8000'. 
Sheep Ra.- Sheep Peak 9700'. Douglas Co.: 
Carson Ra.- 6 mi WNW Minden 6000'. 
Elko Co.: Ruby Mts. Lamoille Canyon 
7700'. Jarbidge Mts.- Snowslide Gulch (- 
46N-58) 8000'. Esmeralda Co.: White Mts.- 
Boundary Peak 9000'. Nye Co.: Grant Ra.- 
Troy Peak 9100'. Washoe Co.: Carson Ra.- 
Little Valley 6200', 6400', 6500', 6600'; 
Lower Price Lake 7000'; between Little 
Valley and Lake Tahoe 7600', 7800'; Fuller 
Lake 3 mi S Verdi 6000'; E side Lake 
Tahoe at Ormsby Co. line 6600'; Hwy 27 
nr Mt. Rose 8800'; Whites Canyon on Mt. 
Rose 6800'; 6 mi SW Reno 6400'. 

Genus LASIUS Fabricius 

Subgenus LASIUS Fabricius 

Lasius alienus (Foerster) 

Clark Co.: Spring Mts. Charleston Park 
8100'; Charleston Peak 8300'; 16 mi NE 
Pahrump 8000'; Camp Bonanza 7500'. 
Douglas Co.: E side Lake Tahoe 2 mi S 
Glenbrook 6400'. Elko Co.: East Humboldt 
Ra.- Grays Peak (-36N-61) 8900', 9600'; 8 
mi SW Wells 8400'. Ruby Mts.- Lamoille 
Canyon 7700', 8200', 8800', 8900'; Thomas 
Canyon off Lamoille Canyon 7600', 7700'; 
Lamoille Creek 8900'; Lamoille Lake 9700'. 
Humboldt Co.: Pine Forest Ra. Onion Res- 
ervoirs 8000'. Lander Co.: Toiyabe Ra.- 
Bunker Hill 8900'. Nye Co.: Toiyabe Ra.- 
South Twin River (-11N-42) 8800'. Washoe 
Co.: Carson Ra.- Little Valley 6400'; 
Whites Canyon on Mt. Rose 6800'. 

Lasius neoniger Emery 

Clark Co.: Spring Mts. Charleston Peak 
8300'. Elko Co.: Ruby Mts.- Thomas Can- 
yon off Lamoille Canyon 7600'. Nye Co.: 



Toiyabe Ra. South Twin River (-11N-42) 
9000'. 



Lasius sitkaensis Pergande 

Clark Co.: Spring Mts. Charleston Park 
8100'. Sheep Ra.- 2 mi N Sheep Peak 
9000'. Douglas Co. : Carson Ra. Kingsbury 
Grade 6 mi WNW Minden; E side Lake 
Tahoe 2 mi S Glenbrook 6400'. Elko Co.: 



Jarbidge Mts. Matterhorn 8500'. Humboldt 
Co.: Pine Forest Ra. Onion Reservoirs 
8000'. Washoe Co.: Carson Ra.- Little Val- 
ley 6200', 6400', 6600', 7000'; Fuller Lake 3 
mi S Verdi 6000'; California boundary 31- 
17N-18 8600'. White Pine Co.: Egan Ra.- 
nr Murry Summit 9100'. Schell Creek Ra. 
South Schell Peak 8800'. Snake Ra.- 
Wheeler Peak 9700'. 



Subgenus CAUTOLASIUS Wilson 
Lasius flavus (Fabricius) 

Douglas Co.: Carson Ra. Glenbrook 
6200'. Nye Co.: Toiyabe Ra.- South Twin 
River (-11N-42) 9100'. Washoe Co.: Carson 
Ra.- Little Valley 6400'; Hwy 27 nr Mt. 
Rose 8800'; Lower Price Lake 7000'; Upper 
Price Lake 7200'; E side Lake Tahoe at Or- 
msby Co. line 6600'; Mt. Rose 10,000', 
10,300', 10,400'. White Pine Co.: Snake 
Ra.-Mt. Moriah 10,000'. Egan Ra.- nr 
Murry Summit 9200'. 



Subgenus CHTHONOLASIUS Ruzsky 
Lasius vestitus W. M. Wheeler 

Clark Co.: Spring Mts. Charleston Peak 
7700', 8100'. Elko Co.: Ruby Mts.- Lamoille 
Canyon 7600'. 

Genus FORMICA Linnaeus 

The neogagates species-group 

Formica lasioides Emery 

Clark Co.: Spring Mts. Charleston Park 
8100'; Charleston Peak 8300'; Camp Bo- 
nanza 7500'. Elko Co.: Jarbidge Mts. Jar- 
bidge 6200'. East Humboldt Ra.- 7 mi SW 
Wells 7400'. Humboldt Co.: Pine Forest 
Ra. Onion Reservoirs 8000'. Mineral Co.: 



GREAT BASIN NATURALIST 



Vol. 38, No. 4 



Wassuk Ra.--8N-28 8000'. Nye Co.; Mon- 
itor Ra.- Table Mt. 10,500', 10,600', 
10,800', 10,900'. Washoe Co.: Carson Ra.- 
Little Valley 6400', 7000', 7500'; Hwy 27 
nr Mt. Rose 8800'; Mt. Rose 10,200', 
10,400', 10,500'; Whites Canyon on Mt. 
Rose (-18N-19) 6800'; 6 mi SW Reno 6400'; 
4 mi N Verdi 6300'. White Pine Co.: Schell 
Creek Ra.- South Schell Peak 8900'. Snake 
Ra.- Mt. Moriah 10,500'; Mt. Washington 
10,400'. 

The rufa species-group 
Formica dakotensis Emery 

Nye Co.: Monitor Ra.- Table Mt. (E side) 
10,800'. Washoe Co.: Carson Ra.- Mt. Rose 
(15-17N-18), 10,500'. White Pine Co.: Snake 
Ra.- Wheeler Peak 10,000', 10,500'. 

Formica densiventris Viereck 

Elko Co.: Ruby Mts. base of Ruby Dome 
7200'. Esmeralda Co.: White Mts.- Bound- 
ary Peak 8900'. Humboldt Co.: Pine Forest 
Ra. Onion Reservoirs 8000'. Nye Co.: To- 
quima Ra. ridge S of Mt. Jefferson 10,000'. 
Washoe Co.: Carson Ra. between Little 
Valley and Lake Tahoe 7800'; Hwy 27 nr 
Mt. Rose 8800'. 

Formica integroides W. M. Wheeler 

Washoe Co.: Carson Ra. 10 mi W Reno 
6500', 7000'; 6 mi SW Reno 6400'; 4 mi N 
Verdi 6300'. 



Ra.- 10 mi SW Ely (-14N-62) 10,000'; nr 
Murry Summit 8600', 8800'. 

Formica obscuriventris Mayr 

Humboldt Co.: Pine Forest Ra. Onion 
Reservoirs 8000'. Washoe Co.: Carson Ra. 
4 mi N Verdi 6300'; Tahoe Meadows on 
Mt. Rose 8400'. White Pine Co.: Egan Ra.- 
10 mi SSW Ely 10,000'. 

Formica areas W. M. Wheeler 

Elko Co.: Ruby Mts. end of Lamoille 
Canyon road 8800'. Washoe Co.: Carson 
Ra.- Little Valley 6400'; Hobart Creek Res- 
ervoir 7200'. 



Formica planipilis Creighton 

Elko Co.: Ruby Mts. Lamoille Canyon 
8800'; Lee Lake on Lee Peak 9700'. Jar- 
bidge Mts.- Snowslide Gulch 8000'. Washoe 
Co.: Carson Ra.- Fuller Lake (32-14N-18) 
6000'. White Pine Co.: Schell Creek Ra.- 1 
mi W North Schell Peak 10,200; Berry 
Creek on South Schell Peak 8800'. Snake 
Ra.- NE slope Wheeler Peak 8300'. 

Formica propinqua W. M. Wheeler 

Washoe Co.: Carson Ra. Little Valley 
6400'; Lower Price Lake 7000'; between 
Little Valley and Lake Tahoe 7600', 7800'; 
Hobart Creek Reservoir 7200'; 5 mi SW 
Reno 5600'. 



Formica nevadensis W. M. Wheeler 

Esmeralda Co.: White Mts. Boundary 
Peak 9000'. Washoe Co.: Carson Ra.- 
Whites Canyon on Mt. Rose 6800'; "Lake 
Tahoe." White Pine Co.: Schell Creek Ra.- 
North Schell Peak 10,400'. 



Formica obscuripes Forel 

Elko Co.: Ruby Mts. Thomas Canyon off 
Lamoille Canyon 7700'. Nye Co.: Toquima 
Ra.-S side Mt. Jefferson 10,500'. Washoe 
Co.: Carson Ra.- Little Valley 6400', 6500'; 
Marlette Lake 8000'. White Pine Co.: Egan 



The fusca species-group 
Formica argentea W. M. Wheeler 

Clark Co.: Springs Mts. Charleston Peak 
8100', 8300', 8400', 9700', 10,300', 10,400'; 
Mummy Mt. 10,800', 11,500'. Sheep Ra.- 
Hayford Peak 9700'. Elko Co.: Jarbidge 
Mts.- Jarbidge 6200'. Ruby Mts.- Lamoille 
Creek 8800'. Esmeralda Co.: White Mts.- 
ridge 2% mi NE Boundary Peak 10,800'. 
Mineral Co.: Wassuk Ra.- -8N-28 8000'. 
Nye Co.: Grant Ra. ridge between Timber 
Mt. and Troy Peak 10,000'; Troy Peak 
7400', 7900'. Toiyabe Ra.- South Twin Riv- 
er 9100'. Toquima Ra. Mt. Jefferson 



December 1978 



WHEELER, WHEELER: NEVADA ANTS 



10,000'. Ormsby Co.: Carson Ra.- 5 mi 
WSW Carson City 6800'. Washoe Co.: Car- 
son Ra.- Marlette Lake 8000'; Little Valley 
6400'; between Little Valley and Lake 
Tahoe 7600'. White Pine Co.: Schell Creek 
Ra.- North Schell Peak 9700'; South Schell 
Peak 8800'. Snake Ra.- Wheeler Peak 
9700'; Pyramid Peak 9200', 9400'. 

Formica fusca Linnaeus 

Douglas Co.: Carson Ra. Kingsbury 
Grade 7000'; Spooner Summit 7100'. Elko 
Co.: Ruby Mts.- Lee Peak 11,000'; Ruby 
Dome 10,500', 11,000'; Thomas Canyon off 
Lamoille Canyon 7700'; Lamoille Lake 
9700'; nr Liberty Lake 10,000'; Liberty 
Lake 10,300'; Liberty Pass 10,400'. Jarbidge 
Mts.- Matterhorn 10,200', 10,300';. Snow- 
slide Gulch 9200'. East Humboldt Ra.- 
Grays Peak 9900'. Pilot Ra.- Pilot Peak 
8500'. Esmeralda Co.: White Mts. 2V6 mi 
NE Boundary Peak 10,800'; Boundary Peak 
10,500'. Humboldt Co.: Pine Forest Ra.- 
Onion Reservoirs 8000'. Lander Co.: 
Toiyabe Ra.- Bunker Hill 9300', 9700', 
10,200'. Mineral Co.: Wassuk Ra.- Mt. 
Grant 10,200'. Nye Co.: Grant Ra.- Troy 
Peak 9900', 10,100', 10,800', 10,900, 
11,200'; Timber Mt. 10,200', 10,400'. 
Toiyabe Ra. Toiyabe Dome 10,100', 
10,500'; between Arc Dome and Toiyabe 
Dome 9800'; South Twin River 9000'. Or- 
msby Co.: Carson Ra. 3 mi WSW Carson 
City 6100'. Washoe Co.: Carson Ra.- Little 
Valley 6400', 6500', 6600'; Hobart Creek 
Reservoir 7200'; between Little Valley and 
Lake Tahoe 7800'; Marlette Lake 8000'; 
Hwy 27 nr Mt. Rose 8800', 9100'; Lower 
Price Lake 7000'; Mt. Rose 10,000', 10,200', 
10,300', 10,500', summit (10,778'); Whites 
Canyon on Mt. Rose 6800'. White Pine Co.: 
White Pine Mts.- Currant Mt. 10,700', 
10,800', 11,200'. Snake Ra.- Wheeler Peak 
10,000', 10,500', 10,700', 10,800', 11,100'; 
Mt. Moriah 10,400', 10,500', 10,800', 
11,400', 11,500'; Pyramid Peak 10,500', 
10,800'. Schell Creek Ra.- North Schell 
Peak 10,300', 10,400', 10,500'; South Schell 
Peak 9700'. 

Formica hewitti W. M. Wheeler 
Elko Co.: Buck Creek Mts.- 9 mi NW 



Jarbidge 6700'. Esmeralda Co.: White Mts.- 
N slope of peak N of Boundary Peak 
11,600'; Boundary Peak 11,000'. Mineral 
Co.: Wassuk Ra.- Mt. Grant 11,000'. White 
Pine Co.: Snake Ra.- Wheeler Peak 10,100'; 
Pyramid Peak 9800'. 

Formica microphthalma Francoeur 

Douglas Co.: Carson Ra. Kingsbury 
Grade 7000'. Washoe Co.: Carson Ra.- be- 
tween Little Valley and Lake Tahoe 7600'; 
Hwy 27 nr Mt. Rose 8800'. 

Formica neorufibarbis Emery 

Clark Co.: Sheep Ra. Hayford Peak 
9800'. Douglas Co.: Carson Ra. Spooner 
Summit 7100'. Elko Co.: Ruby Mts.- end of 
Lamoille Canyon road 8800'; Lamoille 
Creek 9200'. East Humboldt Ra.- Angel 
Lake 8400'; Grays Peak (-36N-61) 10,500'. 
Jarbidge Mts.- Jarbidge 6200'. Buck Creek 
Mts.- 9 mi WNW Jarbidge 6700'. Esme- 
ralda Co.: White Mts. Boundary Peak 
11,000', 11,600', 12,000', 12,200'. Humboldt 
Co.: Pine Forest Ra. Onion Reservoirs 
8000'. Mineral Co.: Wassuk Ra.- Mt. Grant 
11,000'. Nye Co.: Toquima Ra.- Mt. Jeffer- 
son 11,700', 11,800', 11,900'. Toiyabe Ra.- 
Arc Dome 11,200', 11,500', 11,600', 11,700', 
summit (11,775'). Washoe Co.: Carson Ra. 
Little Valley 6400'; Hobart Creek Reser- 
voir 7200'; Hwy 27 nr Mt. Rose 8700', 
8800'; Tahoe Meadows on Mt. Rose 8400'; 
Mt. Rose 10,400', 10,500', 10,700', summit 
(10,778'). White Pine Co.: Snake Ra.- Mt. 
Moriah 11,000', 11,100'; Wheeler Peak 
9700'. Schell Creek Ra.- North Schell Peak 
9000', 10,500'; South Schell Peak 8600', 
8800', 9900'. 

Formica sibylla W. M. Wheeler 

Douglas Co.: Carson Ra.- 6 mi WNW 
Minden 6000'. Ormsby Co.: Carson Ra.- J 
mi SW Carson City 7100'; 7 mi WSW Car- 
son City 7000'. Washoe Co.: Carson Ra.- 
Little Valley 6400', 6800', 6900', 7000', 
7500'; Hwy 27 nr Mt. Rose 9000'; Mt. Rose 
10,500'; Whites Canyon on Mt. Rose 6800'; 
6 mi SW Reno 6400'; Sand Point E side 
Lake Tahoe 6400'; Marlette Lake 8000'; 
Lower Price Lake 7000'. 



Vol. 38, No. 4 



Formica subpolita Mayr 

Clark Co.: Sheep Ra. Hayford Peak 
9700', 9900'; Sheep Peak 9000', 9700'. Es- 
meralda Co.: White Mts. Boundary Peak 
10,800'. Humboldt Co.: Pine Forest Ra.- 
Onion Reservoirs 8000'. Mineral Co.: Was- 
suk Ra.- Mt. Grant 10,200'. Nye Co.: 
Toiyabe Ra. Arc Dome 9200'; South Twin 
River 8800', 9100', 9200'. Toquima Ra.- 
Mt. Jefferson 9400', 9500', 10,000'. Washoe 
Co.: Carson Ra.- Fuller Lake (3 mi S Ver- 
di) 6000'; 6 mi SW Reno 6400'; 10 mi 
WNW Reno 6500', 7000'. 



Formica subsericea Say 

Clark Co.: Spring Mts. Charleston Peak 
10,400', 11,000'; Mummy Mt. 11,500'. 
Sheep Ra.- Hayford Peak 9700'. Elko Co.: 
Ruby Mts. end of Lamoille Canyon road 
8800'; Lamoille Canyon 7600'; Thomas 
Canyon off Lamoille Canyon 7700'. East 
Humboldt Ra.- Angel Lake 8400'; Grays 
Peak 9000'. Humboldt Co.: Pine Forest 
Ra. Onion Reservoirs 8000'. Nye Co.: 
Grant Ra.- Troy Peak 8800', 9000', 10,700'. 
Monitor Ra.- Table Mt. 9500'. Toiyabe 
Ra.- South Twin River 8800'. Ormsby Co.: 
Carson Ra.- 7 mi WSW Carson City 7000'. 
Washoe Co.: Carson Ra. Hwy 27 nr Mt. 
Rose 8800'; Mt. Rose 10,300', 10,500'. 
White Pine Co.: Snake Ra. Mt. Washing- 
ton 9500'; Wheeler Peak 7500', 8000'. Egan 
Ra.- nr Murry Summit 9200'. 



The sanguinea species-group 
Formica puberula Emery 

Elko Co. : Ruby Mts. Thomas Canyon off 
Lamoille Canyon 7600'; Lamoille Canyon 
8200'. Washoe Co.: Carson Ra.- Little Val- 
ley 6400'. 



Formica subnuda Emery 

Elko Co.: East Humboldt Ra.- 8 mi SW 
Wells 8400'; Grays Peak 9000'. Ruby Mts.- 
Ruby Dome 10,500'; Lamoille Canyon 
8200'; Liberty Pass 10,300'. White Pine Co.: 
Snake Ra.- Wheeler Peak 10,000', 10,500'; 
saddle between Mt. Washington and Lin- 
coln Peak 11,000'; Mt. Washington 10,400'; 
Pyramid Peak 9900', 10,500', 10,600'. Schell 
Creek Ra.- North Schell Peak 9900', 10,600 

Genus POLYERGUS Latreille 
Polyergus breviceps Emery 

Elko Co.: Ruby Mts. Ruby Dome 
10,500'. Nye Co.: Grant Ra.- Troy Peak 
7400'. Washoe Co.: Carson Ra.- Little Val- 
ley 6400', 6500'; Hwy 27 nr Mt. Rose 
8800', 9100'; 6 mi SW Reno 6400'. 

LITERATURE CITED 

BILLINGS, W. D. 1954. Nevada trees. Agric. Exten. Ser. 

Univ. Nevada Bull. 94: 1-125. 
CHEIGHTON, W. S. 1950. The ants of North America. 

Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., Harvard Coll. 104: 

1-585, 57 pi. 

GREGG, R. E. 1963. The ants of Colorado. Univ. Colo- 
rado Press, Boulder. 792 p. 
MANI, M. S. 1968. Ecology and biogeography of high 

altitude insects. W. Junk, The Hague. 530 p. 
SMITH, M. R. 1928. The biology of Tapinoma sessile 

Say, an important house-infesting ant. Ann. En- 

tomol. Soc. Amer. 21:307-330. 
VAN PELT, A. 1963. High altitude ants of the southern 

Blue Ridge. Amer. Midland Natur. 69:205-223. 
WEBER, N. A. 1943. The ants of the Imatong Moun- 
tains, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Bull. Mus. Comp. 

Zool., Harvard College 93:263-289, 16 pi. 
WHEELER, G. C., AND JEANETTE WHEELER. 1963. The 

ants of North Dakota. Univ. North Dakota 

Press. Grand Forks. 326 p. 
1973. Ants of Deep Canyon. Philip L. Boyd 

Deep Canyon Desert Research Center, Univ. 

California, Riverside. 162 p. 
WHEELER, W. M. 1917. The mountain ants of western 

North America. Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts Sci. 

52:457-469.